Derek’s Blog

So you have heard all about the training, all about the fundraising, I thought that this week I would share with you what is working for me and making the process more enjoyable. There’s a music theme. I like music. MUSIC IS THE ANSWER!

Music is the Answer!

So It has to be said, like many I love music. It is an important part of life for me and can really set a mood. One track can change the day! Where it is invaluable and becoming more and more so is during training.

Most of my runs are solo except when Uncle G (Running support and photographer) comes along. The banter is always great and takes your mind off the miles and the aches and pains. Solo runs require serious tuneage! Music has to be planned and selected beforehand. If the music isn’t right, the run isn’t right. And as for the long rowing sessions? These absolute Japanese torture sessions are helped by music for sure, but I’ll be honest, they are still a living hell.

So what am I listening to at the moment? Well I’m an old raver at heart so it’s got to be beats! From Old Skool to House to Techno, the music fits the mood. Here are my top 5 at the moment! (In no particular order)

Carl Cox Global 684

  1. An absolute techno masterclass live from Sydney. This has got me through many a long rowing session! There’s a new show from the Coxy every week so it’s always on the playlist but this Sydney PURE set has been blasted a few times.


Mark Sherry presents #TWENTY (1989-1991)

  1. A 4 Hour Old Skool musical journey that I have never had a bad run to and takes me back to so many good times.


Carl Cox Mixmag LIVE at Fabric London

  1. Another Old Skool set but totally different from Mark Sherry’s. Serious tuneage!


Eats Everything Radio Show

  1. Since I saw Eats Everything at EH1 Music Festival last year I’ve been a fan since then. The fact that he now brings a weekly live set out means you always get something different.


STREETrave 24th Birthday Party

    1. A blast from the past for the STREETrave crew. Incredible tunes tinged with sadness this month as we lost Lee Harrison AKA Hooligan X RIP my friend!


So these are the tunes I’ve been blasting as I train over the last month or so. I have to say music is definitely a motivator for me. It’s not everyone’s thing but it works for me and when you’re training sessions last so long and are incredibly tough, you need to do what works FOR YOU. Getting that bit extra works and music does that for me!

The Fifth Beatle

The Beatles had Sir George Martin, my equivalent in this process is Charlotte Muir, head honcho at Massage Away. You can train and be as fit as an Olympian (I am not including myself in that by the way) but if you don’t get a sports massage you will never be able to reach full potential. Having at least one a week has significantly helped me. You are punishing the body in ways that you never have before so getting all the toxins out is essential.


Massage Away is based in Glasgow Fitness in Thornliebank. Check her out, she may even give you a wee deal if you say I sent you!  Tel: 07746644712 or visit

Heavy Techno

“Heavy Techno”. The phrase is what Dean used to describe our meatier sessions. I have to say it’s probably the only decent patter he has produced in the last 8 months but that’s a story for another day. This weekend we take on the Edinburgh Marathon. It’s a bit different for us though as Kevin has set up a weekend of running that will aim to simulate the running part of our challenge.


On Saturday we have a 2 hour run, Sunday the Edinburgh Marathon and on Monday we finish with a 1 and a half hour run. So the weekends running is definitely Heavy Techno!


Please don’t forget this is all for fundraising so you can donate at or on our text codes which can be found on our Facebook page.


Thanks as always for your incredible support. We have now cleared £22,000 in fundraising that is going directly to our charities. There’s a long way to go!

Rave on!


Real Life vs Arch 2 Arc


I tell you what, it’s a battle every week.

Training, working, meetings, events, family, social life, the list goes on. Week on week you have to juggle to fit in your training. I find if I miss a morning it sends me into a spiral! How am I going to get the time later, I’ve got a meeting? I’m not going to get home till late, then it’s straight to bed. But then I don’t have enough rest so the next morning’s workout is going to be harder! Aaaaaargggggggh!

This, friends is Arch 2 Arc!

Now it’s fair to say that I am no stranger to a party and I love my weekends but the level we are training at and the weekend “Big Run” dictates that you just can’t continue in the same pattern. It’s a total lifestyle change and that isn’t just for the 3 of us who are taking on the challenge. Our family life changes. Our family changes for us. Time with our loved ones is reduced but I think it’s fair to say the support has been incredible. Or quite possibly they are delighted of the break!


Over 5 months in and it’s fair to say we haven’t exactly lived like monks but it’s really about choosing your battles wisely. Admittedly I am not great at saying no. After the 2nd “Derek just have a drink”, I’m in, so I find its either best to stay only for a while or take myself out of the equation all together! I am weak to the powers of persuasive friends!

Work & charity commitments have to come first through our training which means you have to be flexible in order not to miss training. That can mean moving days off, arranging a gym in another town when working away (not as easy as it sounds sometimes) or getting up at 4.45am to get a big run in before meetings. The bottom line is that you just cannot afford to get behind so flexibility and creativity is essential to get it done!



It’s very obvious to me that the Arch 2 Arc challenge is more than navigating yourself from London to Paris.

The challenge is the daily training, mental and physical. The challenge is being in the gym at 6am every session. The challenge is juggling family. For Dean battling his MS. The challenge is giving work 100%. The challenge is trying to still live your life!

This is Real Life vs Arch 2 Arc

Thanks for your support!

Derek x

PS Did you know that you can also get involved? Would you like to take on the challenge at home, on the roads of your town, in your gym, at work, at school? Message us to find out more!


Derek’s Blog

October 2015 was the date we agreed to take on the mighty Arch 2 Arc challenge. 4 months in I honestly still question what we have got ourselves into.

There are good days where you feel you can take on the world, that you are indeed an athlete. There are average days where you go through the motions, that you are in reality a 40 year old pretending he is 20. There are bad days when you don’t reach your target and you just think, “I’m not f@ckin anywhere near where I need to be, how am I going to get through it!!!!??”. That’s the days you feel like a total has been and the amateur that you really are! Self-doubt is rampant!! Continue reading